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tv   Lectures in History Vietnam Wars Operation Rolling Thunder  CSPAN  June 24, 2018 12:00am-1:01am EDT

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should be this or that. there are benefits to having more and benefits to having stronger providers. i want to see what the circumstance may be announcer: lunch "the communicators" on c-span2. announcer: next on "lectures in history," douglas kennedy of the u.s. air force academy teaches a class on the vietnam war's operation rolling thunder air campaign, which took place from 1965 to 1968. he describes the goals of the campaign, like destroying north vietnam's transportation system, and also talks about the limitations put in place to avoid antagonizing other communist powers like the soviet union and the people's republic of china. this class runs about 50 minutes. >> thanks, it is good to see you here today. as you know, we did the reading, two big chapters.
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i had to limit how much you could read. those two chapters focusing on the latter part of rolling thunder. good context and, it discussed airpower in this operation. again, last time we talked about vietnam, this is the second of four lessons. last time we discussed airpower in the south, primarily the chapters discussing the advisory role. we are doing a chronological approach and we have reached -- looked at that. of time from north vietnamese support in 1959 and that advisor role until 1964. now we are focusing on airpower
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against north vietnam. to give some context, a lot of historians when they look at the war break it down into four phases. that airpower we studied last time was the advisory phase. the rise of the advisors and watching them in an airpower role. now we are getting to the americanizing of a war. we look at the context of how the gulf of tonkin affects the understanding of the development and the planning for strategic campaigns against the north. and how we get into this air campaign in march of 1965. we are in a very specific time, a very chaotic time in the united states and south vietnam. as we finished up that advisory role, we had significant events happen. the assassination of president kennedy in the united states, so we have a new president taking over and seeing what is happening and three weeks before, is in assassination and south vietnam. the reevaluation, this is a perfect time.
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there is taking the out on the plane, going back to d.c. and now think about what he is facing going into 1964 trying to get his arms around everything a president needs to get his or her arms around. there are three things that the united states could do. they could continue on this path of an advisory role and maybe increase the role. that so we have seen happening. they can get more involved with the military to include introduction of war -- more airpower assets or disengage. there is rationale why the path is chosen. they do the in between an advisory role and an introduction of more forces so the idea is real state engaged in south vietnam and when johnson is trying to make his decision, secretary of defense sense in a memo. in march of 1964, it says this is why we need to stay engaged. this is what we should do and how we should do it.
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mcnamara had gone with the joint chiefs of staff on an advisory mission in 1963. things were not going well and kennedy wanted to get a better grasp of the situation. now mcnamara will go back to
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that report and summarize it in a memo to the president. then offer our way ahead. he pulls language for that report in this memo and the president will acknowledge it and concur with it and he does in a formal way three national security memorandum. from the language of the report, it says we seek an independent non-communist south vietnam, one where the south vietnamese must be free and can get out as required. the first sense is so significant. also is the idea that in september 1963, when it is being written, the administration is problematic. it is corrupt. it is focusing more on consolidating power than fighting the communists. the other term you see often when someone talks about the war and our ejected, they always throw in stable, a stable and productive government. they bring with them what mcenroe, president johnson
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before is bringing, the idea that this is definitely within the cold war. it's containment. up until that point, was this before then codified? you put emphasis on independent non-communist. was that codified? that is where people grasped this document. before hand, it is a little more gooey in the language. he use a good word there, codified. this is what our goal is. this non-communist independent and the language there says stable. i would argue this is a change happening. you can say an architect is the secretary of defense.
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also in the language, he talks about a graduated. this goes with the ideas of the cold war and have a will defeat communism. this gives you an idea of the graduated response. this is all personnel. we have already looked at that period of advisory, look at the numbers going up from 1961 through 1964. we have a decrease in the advisory role. not only are we talking about ground forces but within those numbers, a graduated response
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and support from the air force. this matches the doctrine of graduated force. i have alluded to johnson and his decision. why is he agree with mcnamara? this conflict so far is housed in this overall cold war. it is interesting what party johnson is part of. the democratic party is still reeling, bristling at the idea that when mao wins the civil war in china, the democratic party gets blamed. we saw happened in the korean war. this conflict will definitely be on johnson's mind because the thought is, we don't want to get in that situation again and number we talked about the
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korean war, specifically the advance up to the chinese border and what was the response of the chinese. the americans are thinking about the korean war, especially johnson. the idea that the chinese could get involved. then, when we had our lesson on the cold war and the cuban missile crisis, this idea that the world was on the brink of exchanging nuclear weapons, getting in that ultimate conflict. it scared people and johnson is affected by this. that gives you an idea of what he wants to try to keep things tempered down. he does not want to get a sense of expanding the war and we will see how his operation falls into that. i have again from the last lesson, specifically with the air force, or number with that force structure looked like and what the people in the air force were training for this.
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as we are increasing involvement, specifically the air involvement. more context, we can't forget that johnson has something else on his mind. he wants to advance a progressive policy that he terms the great society, reform movements that cost a lot of political clout and a lot of money. this would be most historians would argue, this is his real interest. the vietnam war is important but secondary as long as it is not go into something uglier. as we get into 1964 and there is a condition that there will be more involvement by the united states. there is a discussion of how tos airpower played this and the air campaign and there is the development of our air campaigns going on.
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i have a picture of here of the chief of staff of the air force through 1964. he retires at the beginning of 1965. if we think about him, all the stuff we discussed about him already, he has the doctrine in mind, the bombing doctrine. they already have an idea of 94 different target sets. he has a plan of how long that duration would have to destroy north vietnam. that is not in johnson's plan. this is mara johnson's plan is if you have an air campaign, this is discussed among advisers. what would the strategic air campaign do, first and foremost, we have a problem with this insurgency in the south. we have to find ways to stop it and one thing is to stop north vietnamese support of insurgency
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in the south. we can use bombs to send a message, to persuade north vietnam to stop supporting the insurgency. we want the status quo of north and south vietnam. that airpower campaign can show south vietnam and north vietnam and even our allies, look at u.s. resolve when we are in a conflict in this cold war environment. this is our resolve against communism. the more practical ideas are, we need some kind of strategic destruction of the north vietnamese ability to make war. where are all the material coming from? is it north vietnamese industry or not? this is the idea, not only is a strategic to graft or transportation but also to
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prevent that stuff from moving around. the transportation line -- the reason for it is even if stuff is coming from outside, to help prevent that keeping north vietnam sustained, make them feel the pain of war. let's to an interdiction campaign that prevents material from going from the north down to the south, primarily through laos. the development happening in 1964, if we do a strategic air campaign. then there is another incident, there is a lot of small attacks. insurgency is still happening in the south. we get a situation in the gulf of tonkin off the shore of north vietnam where patrol boats attack intelligence gathering ships and i am not concerned about who is provoking what. certainly here's some nice
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pictures. here is pictures of the kidneys patrol boats coming off the coast. there are two separate attacks. we now have information that says, there was a first attack and that was seen as a retaliatory attack, not an aggressive attack by the north vietnamese but that second attack that supposedly happened on the fourth did not happen but that was good information. this is what they use. what we like about this is other than it leading the president to go to congress asking for more power, he retaliates. he retaliates against the north circular has a small operation, off carrier groups off the coast. they had the patrol boats, a hit supply and aviation depots in north vietnam. this is a reprisal against the north for the first time. this is of interest to me. when i was in your see, this is where we lose our first pilot.
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he will be a pow from 1964 until 1973. for those of you who have been through, this is something to pay attention to. it taught me i don't want to be a pow. this is a reprisal. that is what is going on. looking at that air campaign, now it is really starting to gin up that campaign and we have two different thoughts. lome says we have 82 stationary targets, give me about 16 days and i can use my bombers to go north and destroy this. this is some of the advice coming up. those targets have been through intelligence agencies and the cia. this could have the effect to make north vietnam react to what
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we are doing. the idea here is, we don't want to do anything too crazy in this environment to get the enemy responding how we don't want them to. instead, this is how you the idea of gradualism. let's keep ratcheting up the power and this is what the air plan should do. before we get into rolling thunder, i want to remind us about the air wars. last time we discussed the difficulty in the chain of command and the command and control structure, all the different air wars that were all going on. in this case, where the bombings are happening, when we talk about rolling thunder, we are having about three quarters of a million tons of bombs. we'll talk it with that next
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time, another strategic attack of the north. that is some pretty good tonnage. there are other air wars going on and i want to make sure we don't forget these. certainly during the same, we will have bombing laos specifically in the ho chi minh trail region. later on, and air war against cambodia, there are more bombs. south vietnam proper, our allies, that is where most of our airpower is going. that is also -- think about it -- big b-52s loaded, doing close air support down in the south. there is the bombing tonnage in comparison. it gives you some idea of the effort being made in this conflict. a long campaign. the final thing -- again, a number of attacks.
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a major attack on the airbase where the sappers go in, kill americans, injured a lot of others. his happened three days before the 1964 campaign. there is always talk about tit-for-tat. how do we stop the insurgency in the south? in february 1965, there are attacks on bases. this attack is a last straw for the johnson administration. the idea that we are not going to do tit-for-tat. we had to initiate something specific. if you saw in my outline, there is from this a tit-for-tat. they do an operation after february 7 going against north vietnam, the southern provinces with operation flaming dart.
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there was recognition that there has to be something more sustained and within days, there is the idea that we will do rolling thunder. it is a kind of graduated rolling along, getting bigger maybe, if we have to. rolling thunder will be our main campaign and we will initiate by the end of february. it will be delayed for about a week. as we get into this operation, i want to make sure we look at the inventory. we will talk about this more but the inventory used, with the aircraft looked like, we have f 100s. the f4 is involved not only with air superiority but as a bomb dropper. dropping almost as much as the f 105. the thunder chief is the main
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aircraft i think about with this aircraft. something we have not discussed significantly is the role of reconnaissance. reconnaissance aircraft getting information to say, how do we measure how we would do this. we'll do it through recon and make sure we pick targets right and hit the targets. and what kind of effect that will have. rolling thunder is fought within the cold war context. it sees a heavy-handed civilian control. you will see what i mean by this. we understand that the system we have in the united states, civilian control. in this case, maybe heavy-handed approach to try to support the
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war on the ground as well as to comply with our objective of having a stable, independent non-communist vietnam. the tool will be a sack dominated air force that is ready for world war iii. the goodness that thompson discussed in regard to rolling thunder is the adaptation that is being done. we do not accomplish the objectives, it does not win the war, it does not course north vietnam, however there is some goodness. this gives us an idea of how the president saw airpower as a tool. on one hand, our planes and bombs could be used as carrots
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for the south. he notes, usually when you do carrots and sticks, it is the same individual but he talks about that, too. rolling thunder will have a carrot and stick approach, specifically toward the north vietnamese. rolling thunder has its first campaign beginning the second of march 1965 and initially, to show his gradualism and the context that the war is being fought in, the idea to go into the panhandle of vietnam, into the 17th parallel for north and south is dividing, initially all the bombing campaign went after what they thought were strategic targets south of the 19th parallel. we are ammunition zones, supply depots, in this case radar sites.
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in modern day, this is what were talking about, in modern day when normally do we like to gain first as far as an air campaign goes? air superiority, so will be a target we looked go after? airbases. those are off-limits. this is being done differently. it is a strategic campaign yet it is going against the normal military thinking. it is mainly an interdiction campaign. even to the north, it is an interdiction campaign of material moving around to stay north vietnam to send a message to them. it is an interdiction campaign at the operational level. f1 hundreds are used, f1 11 will come in later. that is why i don't have
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pictures of them. they will have more effect in the next reading. where do these restrictions come from? from higher up. i have some nice maps. these are restrictions that are self-imposed by the administration onto the airpower leaders. restrictions, rules of engagement, these are difficulties that we read about. on this restrictions, most of the stuff is below the 19th parallel and later, soon after in 1965 as they are rolling along, they will move it to the 20th parallel. the restrictions are, we can't do anything that might upset the other enemies, the other monolithic elements of communism, soviets or the chinese, who we know are
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supporting the north vietnamese. they are not going to bomb along a 25 or 30 mile border with china. the last time we had soldiers on the border, they came across some wars. the major cities will have a restricted zone, a prohibitive zone of attacking. every target will be chosen by the president. he will approve every target. these are the three major restrictions, besides the normal. in the text, the roe of the pilot who comes every target and sees a cargo plane with a star
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on it, recognizing it as north vietnamese, a target of opportunity. shoot it down and that is beyond the rules of engagement. very restricted use of air power. this other restrictions, the main restrictions we are talking about cannot escalate this conflict. this initially starts off by johnson meeting in 1965 with robert mcnamara during lunch and the secretary of state. mcnamara will have a list. this list of targets has been moved up from first secondary division running the show. we always hear about seventh air
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force, that will go through honolulu. it will move to the pentagon, over to stay, back to the gcs and be in mcnamara's hands. we will this list of what we want to do and what we want to hit those targets and they will have a discussion among the three of them. but he soon, that discussion starts expanding. initially, what was missing was any kind of military advisor. this picture is from a later time when general wheeler is sitting on it and he is invited later. where these attacks coming from? it is a combined effort. it is a joint effort but not a joint event. we have yankee station, the carrier group setting up the coast of denying -- sitting off the coast of danang. there is a navy portion of it
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and there are bases in thailand so we have some others as thompson discussed it. as are the main areas where the fighters and tankers are coming out. along with some coming out of danang. there are coming into the north. it is not really -- it is joint, you have navy and air force during attacks but how to break it up is part of this command and control structure that is kind of odd. last time you saw it broken up in divisions. write down here is my 17th parallel and there are seven root package areas. you can see five and two big
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significant ones, six a and six b. these areas are parceled out. the air force and the south vietnamese air force, all of the roots are going into one. the navy gets 2, 3, 4 and six b and the navy gets best air force gets six b. there is a recognition of the graduated response and an idea of allowing attacks on airfields. there is an effort to go after the migs who up and having great success against u.s. formations. with look laughter and airfield outside of hanoi and the navy wanted part of that and it took a lot of extra coordination to break down the barriers and allow deconfliction. other than that, you kept to
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your place. this showed refueling tracks, some very significant -- i thought the reading did a good job incorporating search and rescue. there is a package going in, this has got to be early in the war. the ed-66 is jamming radar. it is escorting f 105 bombers. there's the seventh air force commander, the intellectual air force commander. he will end up planning -- penning so once again, we have a fact-dominated air force structure, and this might be the
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aircraft you would think might be carrying out these missions in total. thompson informs us this would have been too much of a show of force, as far as johnson was concerned. he would not let the b-52 go up north. in rolling thunder, the b-52 won't see action in northern vietnam. it will take another campaign before we see that happen. but they are involved in missions in the south, trying to stop air interdiction platforms. so, not doing strategic bombardment, but an air interdiction effort. the primary platforms will be those 100-series fighters, f 105, f 100. it was designed to participate in that big war with the soviet union, the dropping of tactical nukes. you have a swept wing, big
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engines, moving fast. these are not their fighters, and the idea is to get as deep as you can, drop your new can get back as far as you can. one aspect of these is, how effective are they at bombing? did thompson give us a discussion of this, about the ability? i don't -- i don't remember if he exactly did, but the f105 were not very good at bombing, traditionally. the dispersion of your conventional arms was very difficult.
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it gives us an idea of adaptation. the are using this plane designed to do something else to be involved in this air war. band initially, these pilots haven't been trained effectively on dropping conventional munitions. they talk about an area of cross probability of 750 feet. that means 50% of the bombs dropped are in that area of 750 feet, only 50%. that doesn't tell us where else everything is going. and we talk about being precise, hitting proper targets and avoiding conflict with enemies in some of these other places, this gives you an idea of how things might not be so effective. later in the conflict, with more training, more experience, tell me if you think this is good. engineers get it down to about a 350 circle area of probability. and it's because the planes are not designed to do this. when you take off, you hit the refuel or, you go over target, when you come off you have to hit the refuel her and go back to the base in thailand. incredible coordination for
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that. there is your fleet, not really designed. the navy has got similar problems. what they do have, as thompson remind s us, the a six. it has radar-jamming capabilities. the idea that this is a guided munition, it has no propellant, and it is all weapon. and this becomes a problem. the capability of, can you hit those targets is now, can you actually see those targets and are there secondary targets? initially, johnson keeps control and stuff, he doesn't want it to get out of control. so if you can to the primary target, you go home. later, there are some secondary targets you can hit, and those are the aircraft that are doing
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it. i don't want to disregard this, and i think thompson does a good job for us talking about giving us those stories of the situation of pilots who are able to get rescued. here is what a package would look like going in, with the a1, s's and helicopters to get those guys who are shut down. why is this significant? because the americans are going against one of the strongest integrated air defense systems established, established by the soviet union, and one reason you're not going after airfields is that you have soviet advisers, chinese advisors at all these airfields. and the north korean fighter pilots have incredible success compared to our previous discussion in korea. they are flying pretty good aircraft, makeig17 and mig21, and these are very capable flyers and capable pilots. they know where things are
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coming and going, unlike the american pilots. and this is one aspect how you are going to the and egress are targets. it is known that any time these guys can jump on you. which is why when you are going with the bombing package that the f 105 picture shows us, you are going in with an escort, and air-to-air escort. so that is one element of this integrated air defense system. and the other element that is
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probably most successful, this shows antiaircraft artillery, some larger caliber, you might consider this small arms and a sense but certainly throwing lead in the air, all the way down to the soldiers who are trained very well that when they hear something, they just try to go for the golden bb. and a lot of these antiaircraft artillery are laserguided, so we are talking about very sophisticated small arms and antiaircraft artillery. this is a reason you don't want to come into low, you come into low and these other guys that are going to get to.
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and then, scarier for the pilots is that you can't go too high, either, because you have surface-to-air missiles. these would start off having radar on, radar capturing you, and then, scarier for the pilots shooting off this telephone pole and that thing would come out with a proximity fuse and destroy your aircraft. here is a picture of an f105 before it gets it. the soviets were very good at advising the north vietnamese to move these around and make mobile sites that integrate radar with it. that shows you that integrated air defense system in this small region that you are trying to ingress in and out of with your fast fighter bombers. adaptation takes place. this is the one i am most amazed about. when there is recognition these radars are turning on, we need to go after the sam sites. it was decided, what if we use the two-seater f100, we can go after these sites and drop bombs on them. one pilot said you have got to be kidding me. that shows you the involvement of this mission. we have on here, a picture of two guys doing wild weasels, a medal of honor winner of this mission.
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their role is to go in, escort another strike package, make sure it either jams or takes out sure it either jams or takes out a sam site, and pave the path for the other guys. another example that is very famous, it was effective one significant time, done by a former commandant, 1967, this is robin olds, the wing commander of the eighth tactical fighter wing, and his general, chappy james. anytime we would send in the strike packages, the strike packages would go in the same route, they would look the same, and all the initiative is for
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the communist. and they know when an f1 packages coming in and they would jump them. 05 they recognized they were having a hard time getting air superiority and they were going to take f4's armed with a radar guider and the other one with a heat seeker, and they go in flying the same route the f10 5'w do, fly the radar signature so they looks the same as the f 105, and as they come over the target the north vietnamese take the bait and jump up in the air with their migs, there were 16 in the inventory at the time and i know that doesn't sound like much but the 16 were very effective. their lane with bombs, they are not maneuverable, and they instead see the f4, and they would take down seven of the
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migs in the air. the f4 is miss a lonely but it would later get a gun pod mounted on it. they are used to this environment. flying in this environment thinking they were going to go air to air with far-off engagements with a soviet force, it makes sense. you are in this situation, you get these world war ii or korea war experienced pilots who go, wing need to look more like engaging air superiority like we are used to, and then get the designs to say we are going back to the gun, and we are going to start training again. that is something that comes out of this. these are two examples of just adapting. you have got this airframe and try to adapt it to the situation, these packages. and these are two specific
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examples of how they are trying to do their best to get bombs on target and have an effect. one of the issues with the campaign is a carrot stick, and the idea of how we coerce the north vietnamese. when idea is that you bomb them and then take a pause, and say let's negotiate, let's talk about this. in 1965 they start this in
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march, there is already discussion of the bombing pause in may. at the end of 1965 there would be over a month-long bombing pause, to try to get the north vietnamese, to coerce them to stop supporting the south vietnamese insurgency. and the main architect of all this, even within five months of this campaign beginning, certainly by 1966, he doesn't think this campaign is working. he will become an outlier. he will start saying we should stop this campaign and focus on what is happening in the south. johnson keeps him on for well over a year. mcnamara, with you say he voluntary leaves -- voluntarily leaves or is set loose by the president, that doesn't happen until ni 1968, right in the middle of the tet offensive of 1968. and then we get the ultimate, the idea that 1966 we are seeing results, 1967, maybe this is working, the military optimistic
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about this campaign, and then you have january of 1968, a major attack along all of south vietnam. this is majorly led by the vietcong that are in the south, certainly supplied and supported by north vietnam and there are regular north vietnamese troops here. this demonstrates that even operational level infiltration hasn't worked and you haven't enticed vietnam in any way to stop what they are doing. so the tet offensive is a major issue for the entire war but it is certainly a turning point for the air campaign in the north. so much so that this long campaign is slowly going to come to a close. it is 44 months, on and off, eight bombing pauses, all the
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pauses you have for weather, but you still fly 300,000 sorties. you lose 900 aircraft and the pows that come with that. we will spend more time talking about that in the next lesson. the operational metrics being a large part of the success of rolling thunder. would you agree with that? the air force starts really going in, like who cares how much we do, what effect does it have in the end? that becomes an issue. we drop this many bombs, but it s it telling you anything? when you damage stuff, you go after bridges, how fast do they repair it? or how did they not even need it, how do they find other ways across the river then this major bridge that was built during the french colonial period? how do you measure that you are having some kind of effect? tet has a major effect. the president's approval rating drops.
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support for the war has been in a downward spiral since 1967 and now there is an idea that there is not support for bombing the north, and johnson in march of 1968 will say, i'm not going to run for president. i'm going to concentrate on the vietnam war, and i'm looking to stop this bombing campaign against the north. and johnson does some dancing around the issues of trying to get the north vietnamese to agree to negotiation. finally when there is a sense of that happening, it halts in november of 1968. and it failed to hollow the support for the south or the ability for north vietnam to continue. and we could look at that and say, it's not a normal strategic
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bombing campaign. who is supporting north vietnam? where the getting all of their stuff? toward the end of the conflict we are using b-52s, all of this firepower, and it doesn't have any effect. and what does this guy really need to carry out the conflict? what does this guy need to move stuff down south. i'm using a bicycle. so how effective and how difficult is it to stop that? so it gives us a sense.
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the significance of all this, we are not done talking about air power in vietnam. we will talk about linebacker missions, another strategic roaming campaign that is four are not done talking about air power in vietnam. years after this strategic roaming campaign. years after this strategic but this quote i mentioned earlier, you are here, develop your character as an officer, speaking of reporting correctly and doing the right thing, it even more, you are the architecture that people are supposed to understand. and i know you guys are going to be great at understanding the tactical level of air power, but can you have a better understanding of how it fits into the bigger picture and can you articulated to your civilian overseers? i think it's pretty nice quote. are there any questions? >> when i was going through the
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reading, the author said about president johnson that about a year before rolling thunder, at a meeting with his closest advisers johnson complained the u.s. could not win without parades, songs, and bond drives. johnson was known to be colorful behind closed doors at meetings but it seems like he is trying to throw shade on the ability of the united states at this time to win a limited war. what do you think of that image of bonds, were drives and parades? are we able to fight limited wars better? >> another reason this lesson is significant is, how do we apply are power in this current environment, and what effect can
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you have with air power? and what he is getting at in 1967 is, in his idea of gradualism, this air campaign of rolling thunder seemed like a nice panacea. like, i don't have to cross the border of the 17th parallel and invade. instead, i can send my message using air power. so this guy has an idea that we would may be deem incorrect of what airpower can do. more significant of that quote is, this is his frustration. i'm a massive country, i've got this massive tool, and why is this not working? you want to put it on a bigger idea, this is something we have to grapple with. can airpower alone, no. but can airpower influence, sure. >> we talked briefly on president johnson's great society and then the vietnam war.
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would you said they were trying to do both? that is the take of many historians, trying to balance these two things. and i tried to elude to the idea that his domestic agenda, his previous role as a senator and vice president and now as president, his domestic agenda was definitely high on his attention. and trying to do both, well, he tried to do it on the cheap in the sense that he didn't want to call up the military reserves. if he was going to do all this spending he wanted to do it through deficit spending, not for increased taxation, so there is a lot of discussion that this was a lot to try to put on to the country at one time. in another book, that historians take is that in an attempt to do both he failed at both.
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next reading, two chapters out of this, talking about linebacker. go ahead and read what we are coming out of this discussion with and bring it to our linebacker discussion. and this will be the ultimate question, something thompson is alluding to, a point of view that is heavily out there, and that is, if we only used airpower in 1965, wedding we use it in 1972? that will be the point of our discussion next time. i appreciate your attention and look forward to seeing you next time. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] announcer: join us every saturday evening as we join students in college classrooms to hear lectures on topics ranging from the american revolution to 9/11.
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"lectures in history" are also available as podcasts. visit our website, c-span.org/history/podcasts, or download them from itunes. isouncer: the c-span bus traveling across the country on our 50 capitals toward. it is on its 38 stop in juneau, alaska, asking, what is the most important issue in alaska? >> what i think is the most important issue in alaska right now is we're in the middle of a budget crisis. we're used to having a lot of oil money coming in, and as a result of the oil prices, we aren't getting the revenue we are used to. there are other revenue streams that need to happen. it doesn't seem to be happening very fast, and there are political reasons why people aren't implementing taxes. but without additional revenue coming in, the alaskans are
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facing a lot of crisis in a lot of areas. one is the opioid and substance abuse crisis. the more the economy goes down, the more people get upset and aren't living their lives in a way they are happy with, so they end up getting destitute and turning to self-medicating. >> i think the most important issue is child hunger and taking care of children. it is all linked to poverty. hunger,at 40% of child food insecurity. we went down and now we are going way back up. we have to start giving all of her money to children for the future. here inf our big issues the state is the tourism industry. it's a huge chunk of our economy, and it is growing by leaps and bounds. we are very concerned about the ability to promote the state at
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a nationwide level, especially since visitors are such a bright spot in the economy. >> as far as i can see, i have been here a week in alaska, and one of the big social service issues i have the inherent as homelessness, and the trend to combat it seems to be an issue with the city, since a lot of them aren't actively seeking help, and the ones that are seem to be moving from place to place, looking from different aids. it seems like one of the big issues is homelessness and how we can combat it. council,ructure of the from our perspective, the most important thing in alaska is to get a long-term, sustainable fiscal plan in place. our state, which has ongoing revenue outside the nonrenewable resources, and primarily because
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we need to stabilize education across the state. our educators need to feel that their funding, which is a constitutional duty in alaska, is stable, so they can stabilize their schools, and most important for all of us is to educate our students, and the best way to do that is a stable school. announcer: be sure to join us july 21 and 22, when we will feature our visit to alaska. watch alaska weekend on c-span, c-span.org, and listen on the free c-span radio app. >> because the airplane had captured the public's imagination, many would go into the bad part of the war. chief among them, quentin roosevelt, the youngest of teddy roosevelt's son. teddy roosevelt was a passionate supporter of world war i. he encouraged his sons to fight
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at the front. clinton is shot down in july of 1918. they werey rotation, consoling teddy roosevelt about the loss. he doesn't want to say he's dead, but you can tell him the letter he knows he is. he nonetheless says, i will leave you now, i know how hard this is. as it turns out, quentin had been shot down. here you can see in this scrapbook put together by elmer butler roosevelt, this captures the scene. many american soldiers would go to this grave and take pictures. quentin roosevelt, when he died, he was famous. he made front-page news. teddy roosevelt lost his son. i think it's indicative of two things. one, this war touched all americans, whether you were elite or working-class, whether it touched you equally is a larger conversation, but it
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touched you. the second thing, it demonstrates the very fraught reality of how many millions of people died at the front. quentin roosevelt is simply one of a larger group of people, and his burial is demonstrative also of this idea of memorializing the war in some way, the contributions they made. >> this language of attack, of harm, of damage, that by expressing an opinion that people don't like, you have inflicted an injury -- i found frightening, is the
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truth be told, and quite emblematic of the way the left is responding to any sort of dissent, especially one that politics,n identity which of course is everywhere and has infected everything. announcer: university of pennsylvania law school professor amy wax on the limits of free expression on college campuses in the united states. sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." announcer: reverend martin luther king, jr. organized in 1968 point people's campaign to shift the focus of the civil rights movement to fight poverty. he was assassinated that year, but the campaign went on in washington. they called it "resurrection city." the national museum of african american history of culture and
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the national museum of american history opens in exhibit this year to look back 50 years to the poor people's campaign. panel of civil rights activists and smithsonian museum staff look at the impact and legacy. this is about an hour.

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